Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC, has been elected as the next Chair of the RCUK Executive Group. Prof Nelson will take on the role from 1 October when the current Chair, Prof Rick Rylance, steps down.
Prof Nelson has been elected by his peers within the RCUK Executive Group, consisting of the Chief Executives of the Research Councils and the RCUK Executive Director. His appointment is for a two year term.
Prof Nelson will work closely with Prof Rylance and staff across the Research Councils between now and the end of September to ensure a smooth transition.
Prof Nelson said: “It is a privilege to be elected by my colleagues from the Research Councils. There are challenging times ahead for the Research Councils and the research community but we must not lose sight of the achievements and strengths of the UK research base. We are entering a spending review that is expected to be extremely tough and we need to work together with our research communities and partners to demonstrate the value that public investment in research returns to the nation. The Research Councils are also committed to an ambitious cost reduction programme to ensure that our operations are as efficient as possible and that every pound in our budgets works as hard as possible delivering world-class research, innovation and impact. It is more important than ever that the Research Councils build on our collective and individual strengths.”
Prof Rylance said: “I have greatly enjoyed my time as Chair of the RCUK Executive Group. I am grateful to my Chief Executive colleagues, teams across the Research Councils and the many other partners in the research community, industry and Government for their support and engagement over the last four years.”
RCUK Executive Group is the forum through which the Chief Executives work together and provide collective leadership to the partnership of the Research Councils.
Prof Nelson joined EPSRC as Chief Executive in April 2014 from the University of Southampton. He was Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Southampton from 2005 to 2013 and previously held the role of Director forf the University's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and as Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Gas Turbine Noise.
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Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Our collective ambition is to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. The Research Councils are central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact. Together, we invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today. Our investments create new knowledge through: funding research excellence; responding to society’s challenges; developing skills, leadership and infrastructure; and leading the UK’s research direction. We drive innovation through: creating environments and brokering partnerships; co-delivering research and innovation with over 2,500 businesses, 1,000 of which are SMEs; and providing intelligence for policy making. Find out more about our work at www.rcuk.ac.uk.
The seven UK Research Councils are: